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Sins of a Solar Empire Entrenchment (PC)

Started by aruljothi, Jun 10, 2009, 09:42 PM

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Release Date: 02/04/2009
ESRB Rating: Teen
Genre: Strategy
Publisher: Stardock Corp.
Developer: Ironclad Games

It was the kind of moment that I hated in Sins of Solar Empire. Barely into the start of my last session, a gang of space pirates came knocking while my main fleet was engaged two systems away and unable to help.

Fortunately, I was playing the new micro-expansion Entrenchment. And I happened to be busy laying mines.

So instead of looting and pillaging a relatively defenseless planet, the pirates were led on a merry chase around the minefield while my fleet finished up and came home. There wasn't much left by the time it got back.

Mines are one of the new elements that lie at the heart of Entrenchment's new gameplay philosophy. Thanks to an array of new defensive emplacements, the days of competing fleets bypassing heavily defended chokepoints and racing straight to the soft interior are over. Spaceships trying that now are more apt to run into mines, newly improved fortifications like the TEC Gauss Defense Platform, and the all-new starbases. Starbases that are several times more powerful than the strongest capital ship, and several times more expensive.

That's not an exaggeration either. In addressing Sins of a Solar Empire's weak defenses, it's clear that the folks over at Ironclad were concerned first and foremost with ensuring that players simply couldn't turtle behind loads of starbases and other emplacements. So while an upgraded base is more than capable of staring down a midsized fleet -- high-level capital ships and all -- you're not going to have many of them. In one of my larger games, I only ended up having enough cash for two of the things, and that was at the expense of a much stronger fleet. That's what happens when the expendable construction ship needed to build a base nearly matches the initial investment for a capital starship alone.

Prohibitively expensive as they are though, they do feel like they bring with them a raft of new gameplay possibilities. Good news for Sins of a Solar Empire fans, since the original occasionally felt shallow due to whatever had to be sacrificed from your average 4X game. So even though diplomacy remains a bizarre system of paying tribute to your enemies for their favor, and planets are even more annoying to conquer once certain abilities are researched, Entrenchment still feels like an appreciable evolution over the original.

You'll know this evolution the first time you glance at the much-appreciated reorganization of the tech tree, which now sports an entire window devoted to fortifications alone. You'll also know it the first time you see all the new toys given to the TEC, Advent and Vasari. Get together a few of the new TEC Ogrov cruisers, and even the mighty starbases start to tremble as they face down a hail of ICBMs. In a complex game like Sins, new features like this really start to add up, and you can definitely feel it in the new give-and-take between offense and defense.

pradeep prem

this game is like empire game
but it has animation beautiful